Kitchen gets row­ing to mark 1st birth­day

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS - By GEMMA DAVID­SON gdavid­son@wok­ing­ham­pa­

A TWYFORD tea room has cel­e­brated its first birth­day by tak­ing part in a Dragon Boat race.

Emma’s Kitchen, which is based in Lon­don Road, marked its first year in busi­ness by rais­ing more than £200 for its neigh­bour, be­reave­ment char­ity Daisy’s Dream.

Owner Emma Sav­ille said she al­ways hoped the tea room would be wel­comed by the lo­cal com­mu­nity, but has been over­whelmed by the sup­port of vil­lagers.

She said: “I saw an open­ing for some­thing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent in Twyford, I didn’t want to tread on any toes but it seems that peo­ple have re­ally taken to us, which is great.

“I love giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity as well, so sup­port­ing a lo­cal char­ity such as Daisy’s Dream made per­fect sense. The Dragon Boat rac­ing wasn’t a one-off, we sup­port them through­out the year through var­i­ous fundrais­ing ini­tia­tives and we have a col­lec­tion tin for them on the counter.

“The race [at Thames Val­ley Busi­ness Park on Sun­day, Au­gust 19] was lots of fun! I’ve never done any­thing like it be­fore, and we didn’t re­ally know what to ex­pect. I jumped in with a team of other small in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses and we were given three chances to get our best time. We started off just see­ing it as a bit of fun, but we did get more and more com­pet­i­tive as the day went on!

“I’d set my­self a tar­get of £150, so to raise £217 was bril­liant, I am so pleased.”

And Emma’s com­mu­nity spirit does not end there: she cham­pi­ons a di­verse work­force, of­fer­ing work place­ments to young­sters with ad­di­tional needs.

Emma said: “We had one young wo­man who started off with us on work ex­pe­ri­ence when we first opened, and she did such a good job we of­fered her a part-time, per­ma­nent po­si­tion.

“A lot of the time, th­ese kids leave school and they aren’t of­fered any more op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“I am proud that we can of­fer them a safe place to gain ex­pe­ri­ence, learn some new skills and some­times even get a job at the end of it.

“If peo­ple aren’t given a chance to use their skills then how will they move on in their ca­reers?”

Now that the tea room is so well-es­tab­lished, Emma says she has some ex­cit­ing plans up her sleeve.

She said: “The kids’ area con­tin­ues to grow, we have a par­ent and baby group which will start up again next week, and we have a sand artist visit ev­ery week which is ex­cit­ing, there’s al­ways some­thing go­ing on.

“Our meet­ing room is be­ing used more and more by lo­cal busi­nesses and com­pa­nies who are look­ing for a more re­laxed place to meet with clients, I’m pleased it’s be­come so pop­u­lar.

“We are also test­ing out some ideas for bring­ing some­thing new to Twyford, but it is in the very early stages so you will have to watch this space!”

For more in­for­ma­tion on Emma’s Kitchen, visit www.face­­mask­itchen­read­ing.

Emma’s Kitchen will be hold­ing a Macmil­lan Cof­fee Morn­ing on Fri­day, Septem­ber 22. Cus­tomers are en­cour­aged to bake their own cakes to be sold in the tea room, with all pro­ceeds go­ing to the char­ity. In ad­di­tion, 10% of sales of Emma’s Kitchen’s own cakes will also be do­nated to­wards Macmil­lan.

Pic­ture: Gemma David­son

Emma Sav­ille from Emma’s Kitchen in Twyford.The tea room has just cel­e­brated its first birth­day

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